You're Alive – Celebrate
Jan 02, 2018
You’re alive. Truly and freely alive. Celebrate.
I remember, 9 years ago, as I went into the New Year, I wasn’t quite sure I’d live long enough to welcome in the next year. I arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 2008, and hit the ground running. As I got off the plane and carried all of my gear (M9, M4, battle rattle, underwear, books, bullets, etc.) to a truck, I tried to take in the landscape; instead, it was all a rush of bodies, equipment, and shouting. I would have plenty of time to learn the details of our flight line in the coming months as I watched soldiers coffins being carried onto a waiting C-130 or C-17. For now, my first introduction to the flight line my focus was on carrying my equipment and not looking stupid in front of our Army counterparts. After we loaded up the trucks we were taken to a building where the Army told us what to expect during our 6-9 months serving with them. A room full of Air Force personnel continued their immersion experience into the Army culture.
After hours of briefings and updates on the current climate of Southern Afghanistan, we were allowed to eat chow (dinner). While the dining hall personnel attempted to make the place festive for the holiday, it seemed hollow and foreign. Even though I had trained for 3 months, preparing for combat, the reality was worse than any of my nightmares. Death was not in a book or on a television screen. We were surrounded by threats, constant uncertainty, and no way to escape. People were seeking our death.
As my new reality sunk in, I realized it would take great resolve and focus to learn how to become a valuable part of the team. The first weeks flew by as I learned a job I had never trained for and worked to become keenly adept in an all-male headquarters building in an active war zone. Each morning as I walked into our Headquarters building my purpose washed anew with the pictures on the wall. All the soldiers we had lost were framed, in a place of remembrance and respect. The wall was uncomfortably full.
Less than 10 days in my new job the New Year came around and it was the first time I faced true uncertainty over my future. The year before I was deployed during the holidays as well but we were not in a combat zone. I was working around the clock supporting boots on the ground; however, located in a safe bubble. Never did I worry about the base being attacked or *being on the phone* with soldiers while engaging in enemy fire (bullets flying at them, to paint the picture plainly).
I was a rookie, greenhorn, newbie, to the truth of war. To the violence and anguish of loss. For years I chose to remain there when the New Year came around. It took the birth of my children to bring a new choice to how I viewed the turning of time.
For 5 years I have chosen to greet the New Year with deep gratitude, unbridled regret, and solemn remembrance, as I think about the blessing of life. It is not possible for me to *move on* and push the past from my mind. At this point in my life, I don’t want to, it’s too important for me to remember and never forget. However, I have chosen to add more to my New Year transition. Celebration. It is key for me to be able to push through the emotional fog of what is the week of Christmas and New Year.
Whether you have regrets from 2017 or things left undone, I encourage you to celebrate. And not small celebration, quietly in your mind, take an hour and CHEER! Reflect on the moments that inspired you to try something new. Remember the people who brought smiles to your face. Encourage the feelings of gratitude for loved ones. Document the wins experienced in life, business, relationships, health, and more.
You woke up today with breath in your lungs. Let’s celebrate.
One of my joys is being able to show women how to streamline their days so they can leave a legacy. Another passion is adventuring with my 3 littles in princess quests and epic dragon battles while pursuing an 80+ year marriage with my supportive husband. The online space has become a great journey and I’m delighted to be here with you all .